brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on July 19, 2013 02:13 PM
The notion of a "living wage," who should pay it and who should expect it, is getting quite a workout in America these days. The latest example is the flack that McDonald's has caught for a "budget journal" it and Visa created for McDonald's employees that perhaps reveals more than the chain intended about how it views its own jobs.
The document was created by McDonald's to help its own employees "succeed financially," it said, as "one of the many ways McDonald's is creating a satisfying and rewarding work environment." It was supposed to help employees "take the next step toward financial freedom."
The problem, as critics see it, is that McDonald's won't do the single biggest thing that would actually boost the finances of its workers: pay higher wages. Long serving as rhetorical shorthand for jobs that are low-paying, and even demeaning or dead-end, the "McDonald's burger flipper" typically starts out at around minimum wage. Protesters recently have been demanding wages of $15 an hour, which they've figured is a deserved "living wage"—especially when McDonald's now-retired CEO Jim Skinner made $8.75 million last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 12:48 PM
The good denizens of Myanmar surely wouldn't mind if Coca-Cola opened a little "happiness" for them as the brand has been doing around the world lately. But for the time being, Myanmar—where only 13 percent of residents even have electricity—probably would settle for the jobs that Coke now is providing there, and maybe for a bottle of the stuff at the end of the shift.
Yes, Coca-Cola is joining Unilever, General Electric, Philips, Visa and just a handful of other big global multinationals in finally doing business in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, the poorest and least-accessible nation remaining in Asia. Now, North Korea and Cuba are the only two countries in which Coke still doesn't do business.
After more than 60 years away, Coke plans to spend $200 million in Myanmar over the next five years. Earlier this month, it opened a new bottling plant outside the commercial capital of Yangon, which is creating thousands of jobs in its bottling and distribution operation, a much-needed infusion of investment for a country where 40 percent of the population remains unemployed.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2013 02:42 PM
Millions of credit cards are swiped each day in America, meaning Visa and MasterCard are raking in big bucks from retailers daily under the current fee structure. Following a dispute over the swipe fees, Visa and MasterCard were prepping to pay out a $7.2 billion settlement to retailers, but now, the brands and the National Retail Federation have denied the settlement and instead have decided to sue the credit companies.
Macy's, Target, Office Max, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Saks, and about a dozen other big retailers have banded together and sued Visa and MasterCard, Reuters reports. Walmart and 18 other retailers didn’t get in on the suit, but will “consider pursuing separate legal actions over damages.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM
P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.
Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.
AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.
Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.
Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks.
Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.
Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.
Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 03:36 PM
Starting last Thursday, bigwigs from the NFL’s 32 teams gathered at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to select young players in the hopes that they would become the next John Elway, Gale Sayers, or O.J. Simpson. (Well, OK, maybe not O.J.)
Since 1980, the Draft has been televised and it audience has grown exponentially, with an expected viewership of 50 million for this past weekend's broadcast, Ad Age reports. With that kind of captive audience, sponsorships and advertisers have grown as well. There were 19 official sponsors of the event this year, up from 16 last year. The list included Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Verizon, Pepsi, GMC, Visa, EA Sports, Under Armour, Gatorade and Castrol. It's no doubt that the big names spent more than the $15 million spent across ESPN and the NFL Network last year and the $11.9 million spent the year before.
"To the credit of the NFL, it's the most robust league," Ernest Lupinacci, founder of branding consultancy Ernest Industries, told Ad Age. "They announced the [2013 regular season] schedule and people went crazy. It was as if they let us know they were bringing the McRib sandwich back."Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 21, 2013 09:22 AM
Adobe confirms its CTO Kevin Lynch has left the company for a job at Apple.
Chipotle is risking its brand by venturing into the public debate about gay rights, LGBT community says #ThanksChipotle.
NBC to NYT: Jimmy Fallon is expected to succeed Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" by fall 2014 as NBC struggles with weak ratings.
Aeropostale targets millenials with new in-store #tech.
Aldi and Whole Foods to boycott genetically modified salmon.
Apple's plan for augmented reality amidst another lawsuit on patent infringement.
Barclays announces massive bonuses on UK budget day.
BlackBerry denies report that BB10 failed UK government security test.
Global airline profits are flying high.
Harvard researchers have linked sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 20, 2013 05:33 PM
Retailers are trying to cope with the challenge of an increasingly mobile consumer who conducts life digitally. This means meeting consumers' expectations on a whole new playing field: the mobile device.
According to Interbrand's just-released Best Retail Brands 2013 report, "retailers are mobilizing to address the larger issues around digital: Where and how does it fit into the organization? How can development teams be reorganized and silos lowered to accommodate a multichannel approach? How will the brand's culture change in response?"
While mobile sales are insignificant now, they are growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year, and PayPal alone processed around $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, according to Business Insider. That means mobile payments need to be a key part of future retail strategy. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, "Paper, Plastic... or Mobile?" The FTC cites a KPMG survey that found that 83 percent of executives in retail, financial services, technology and telecommunications believe mobile payments will see widespread consumer adoption by 2015.
Another recent study, by JPMorgan, divides the current state of the mobile commerce market: mobile acceptance (any mobile-based payment solution), mobile wallets (applications that enable consumers to use mobile devices for payment instead of credit or debit cards) and mobile commerce (e-commerce via any mobile device).Continue reading...